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New Rules Give Councils More Power to Build Homes

Thanks to new regulations, councils will be able to obtain government approval to establish a New Town Development Corporation that delivers new garden communities and towns in their area. 

These new bodies will be responsible for project development and master planning, securing private investment, establishing partnerships with developers, and supervising the creation of a new garden village or town, with each expected to deliver thousands of new council homes. 

The development corporations, which will be held accountable by councils, will be required to solicit community involvement in their projects. This includes allowing locals to provide input on how new council homes are delivered. 

The corporations will also be subject to the regular planning requirements, such as taking measures that protect the Green Belt. They will be led by groups consisting of community stakeholders, council members, experts in major product delivery and other entities involved in site delivery. 

The Housing Minister said that he was committed to giving councils the tools they need to deliver the homes that communities need. 

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Mr Dominic Raab MP said that this goal is the reason why councils have the option of applying to create development corporations that will be held locally accountable and required to listen to community opinion to ensure that the new council homes are built in the proper places. 

Before, all New Town Development Corporations that the Secretary of State created were accountable to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. 

On June 4 Mr Raab introduced the regulations to Parliament. MPs will debate them further and once approved by Parliament, they will come into effect later this year. 

LGA Housing spokesman Cllr Martin Tett said that the LGA has been advocating for local development corporations to be overseen by councils so that local communities have a voice regarding developments in their areas. It is sure that the government has respected local opinion on these development corporations. 

Cllr Tett said that LGA will continue to engage with the government to ensure that the most is made of the opportunities to deliver housing through local development corporations. It will also continue to support the sector’s drive to build new homes. However, there is no faster way to deliver than by initiating a council housebuilding renaissance. The best way to do this is by lifting the cap on house borrowing and enabling councils to borrow what they need to build once again. 

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